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SMS messaging can be used as part of a text message marketing campaign to reach customers directly on their mobile device.

What is SMS?

SMS stands for Short Message Service. It’s a text message which has only text, restricted to 160 characters. SMS doesn’t include video or pictures. SMS is one of the earliest texting technologies, since it was designed from the 1980s. It’s also among the most frequently used, even though there are lots of newer and different techniques to communicate with other individuals.

SMS vs. text messages

SMS is just like text messaging. Both terms refer to sending text messages using a 160-character limitation. But a lot of men and women refer to”texting” or”text messages” like any kind of message between text, such as MMS and messages delivered on other programs.

SMS vs. MMS

SMS includes a 160-character limitation, whilst multimedia messaging support (MMS) enables a lot more personalities (it’s restricted solely by the service supplier ). MMS allows you to send movies, pictures, sound, and links using all the text message. MMS also lets you add a subject line for your own message, whereas SMS doesn’t.

SMS vs. RCS

Rich Communications Services (RCS) is a next-generation SMS protocol, and is proprietary to Android apparatus in Google Messages. It’s an update on text messaging, but it’s not been widely embraced. RCS supports numerous rich features, such as read receipts, higher quality images, big videos (without the requirement to compress websites ), and implied activities.

SMS vs. Verified SMS

Verified SMS is a improved variant of SMS and can be proprietary to Android apparatus in Google Messages. It provides another degree of empowerment for texts delivered by companies. Verified SMS enables companies to exhibit their emblem to encourage the branded experience. Additionally, it enables clients to opt in to receive SMS from a company, which ought to help to decrease spam.

SMS vs. OTT

Over-the-top (OTT) programs, for example WhatsApp, iMessage, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger, utilize the world wide web as opposed to a mobile network to send messages.

To see these messages, recipients need to download the program to their smartphone or cellular device. Each OTT program has its own protocols for receiving and sending messages, utilizes different programs, and contains distinct network requirements. It’s also free to send and receive messages via OTT applications.

Types of SMS messages

There are different types of SMS messages that you can send.

P2P SMS

Person-to-Person (P2P) SMS calls for text messaging from human-to-human communications. The equilibrium of messages delivered versus obtained ought to be approximately one to one. P2P SMS shouldn’t exceed 1 message per second (MPS).

A2P SMS

Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS calls for text messaging via an application to someone. Additionally, this is a sort of company messaging. A2P SMS enables sending of automatic texts, therefore it may transcend one MPS. Additionally, it requires specific quantities, for example short codes, toll-free and 10DLC

Short code

Short codes are fiveto six-digit amounts used for sending high-volume, high-throughput A2P text messages. They can’t be utilized for two-way communications or to make voice calls. However, recipients may use certain key words (e.g.,”YES” to affirm,”STOP” to determine ) as answers to these sorts of messages.

Toll-free SMS

Toll-free SMS supports sending high-volume, high-throughput text messages utilizing toll-free telephone numbers (e.g., 800, 888). Most toll-free amounts can encourage SMS messages. Toll-free SMS supports two-way communications; recipients may respond to such messages because they would for ordinary text messages, and also may call the amount if it’s voice enabled.

10DLC

Also read: Top 6 Tips to Stay Focused on Your Financial Goals

Benefits of using SMS for business

There Are Lots of benefits to using SMS for Company, Especially related to text message marketing campaigns:

SMS is compatible on all hardware and software platforms. Messages can be sent and received on any modern mobile device.

SMS messages are small and transmitted via a cellular network, so they can be delivered and received very quickly.

Since SMS messages use a lower bandwidth, they can be sent in areas where voice is not available and can even be sent and received by email when there is no mobile service.

SMS messages are very reliable. They will get delivered either right away or as soon as the recipient’s phone is turned on and connects to a network.

SMS adds more versatility to a business’s communications and marketing strategies, as it is widely accepted and used.

SMS messages get read right away. They have a 98% open rate, which makes them much more effective than other mass marketing methods.

SMS messages cost less to send than MMS messages. They are also more cost effective than having people make and monitor phone calls.

How do businesses use SMS messaging?

Businesses can use SMS messaging in many ways.

Marketing Sending alerts, notifications, and reminders

When a client places an order, they could obtain an automatic SMS message if their purchase was processed, in addition to if the item is out for shipping. When a client schedule an appointment, then they may be sent a reminder the day before the appointment, in addition to an automatic text when there’s a change in the time or date. As a result of this large open rate of SMS messages, most companies know that clients will get and read their own SMS message punctually.

Sending coupons and special offers

Firms can send hyperlinks to electronic coupon codes, discounts, and special offers via SMS messaging. This permits clients to benefit from this deal without needing to remember to bring anything together, since the connection will be on their mobile phone. This has the benefit of making it easier for consumer to buy services and products out of your company, which can increase participation and earnings.

Providing customer support

Firms can incorporate SMS to their customer care system. This permits them to create more efficient utilization of the individual resources, as customer service representatives will have the ability to deal with many requests at exactly the exact same moment. Additionally, it enables customers to ask voice calls whenever they should deal with a problem through direct communications. Firms can increase the efficacy of the contact centres without needing to employ extra employees.

Two-factor authentication

Also read: The Top 10 In-Demand Tech Skills you need to have in 2023

Supporting group messaging

It’s possible to use SMS messaging allowing groups of three or more participants to send and receive messages. Some devices will encourage group messages up to 30 individuals. This allows your organization to communicate with multiple parties simultaneously. This may be valuable if time is a variable, like if a household is buying a house.

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Social Media: What Is The Right Platform For Your Business?

While choosing a social media that’s right for your business can be overwhelming, you can easily pick the network that’s right for you if you know your goals, audience, and capabilities.

Define Your Goals

Before deciding what social network to use, you have to decide on what you want to achieve first. You have to define your social media marketing goals, and make sure that it is specific, actionable, and reasonable. From here, you can choose which social network can deliver most of your needs, as well as help you meet your goals.

Know Your Traffic Handling Capabilities

It’s also important that you can determine how you can handle the traffic that social media may deliver to your business—most especially on your website. That’s because a website that can’t handle too much traffic can be shut down. In addition, more traffic could tantamount to more incoming messages that need your response. So, choose the social media website that can bring the traffic that you can handle.

Determine Your Audience’s Online Habits

Your audience’s online habit is also important in choosing which social media platform to use. That’s because it will determine where most of your traffic will come from. Since a user’s online habit will depend on his or her interests, it will also influence the type of content that they’ll read or sharing. Thus, pick the social network that majority of your audience use, and where you can deliver your content to garner the most traffic.

Find Your Resources

Finding your resources is actually the difficult part of social media marketing. Since the platform you’re trying to use requires interaction, you need to create and find the right resources that you can share online. That way, they will be compelled to read it, which could boost your website’s traffic.

Establish Time of Interaction

As mentioned earlier, social media can bring much traffic to your business. With a lot of people possibly reaching out to you for inquiries other reason, it can be daunting for you to respond to each of them. That’s why you need to establish a time wherein you won’t do anything but interact with your fans or followers, as well as draft press releases or official statement regarding a frequently discussed topic.

What Is Inbound Marketing? How Will It Help Your Business?

blog / Sales and Marketing Is Inbound Marketing the Strategy You Need to Boost Sales?

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As businesses go digital, a variety of marketing avenues and techniques continue to emerge. Among them, inbound marketing takes a content-intensive approach to attract customers. It blends content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and branding. While traditional marketing methods chase customers, inbound marketing allows customers to approach businesses by gradually establishing a thought-leadership position, unique brand image, and authentic brand voice. The article below is a comprehensive overview of this technique that is slowly but surely becoming a hit among marketers across industries.

What is Inbound Marketing? Inbound Marketing Examples

These examples can give us a clearer idea of the concept, most of which is content that we encounter and interact with regularly on the Internet.

Blogs

E-books

E-books usually reach customers via email or when they visit the business’s website. Packed with concise but useful information, they are a powerful promotional tool used to raise brand awareness and reputation.

Interactive Email Signup

Email sign-ups lead to high ROI and pave the path for effective email marketing. They are an interactive element designed to attract customers through various means, such as discounts and free subscriptions in exchange for signing up.

Infographics

Infographics present important information in a format that is accessible as well as visually striking. This goes a long way in attracting and retaining customers’ attention, instilling a sense of curiosity, and ultimately leading them to the business.

YouTube Videos

Types of Inbound Marketing

Content Creation

Content creation begins with a common vision where the company decides what position it wants to establish within the target audience. Global digitization has resulted in a huge demand for compelling online content, with the content marketing industry set to double its revenue by 2026, from $66 billion in 2023. When it comes to creating brand authority and driving sales, very few methods are as effective as in today’s day and age.

SEO

What are the Benefits of Inbound Marketing?

There are several benefits given its unique combination of various elements: 

It is a cost-effective marketing strategy, especially suited to small- and mid-sized businesses.

Today’s customers are more tech-savvy than ever and spend much time on the internet, which allows inbound marketing to gain more traction.

It is sustainable and has long-term value, both in terms of revenue and building successful business relationships.

Trust is essential to a good business and one of the key tenets of inbound marketing is establishing the same via authentic and actionable content, thus making it a successful, future-forward marketing technique.

Pros and Cons of Inbound Marketing

There are various unique ways in which inbound marketing helps businesses thrive in a dynamic and competitive market. However, there are also certain downsides to the technique. 

Pros of Inbound Marketing

Solution-oriented:

The information conveyed through inbound marketing is oriented toward solving specific customer problems.

Interactivity:

Being content-intensive, inbound marketing allows for active interaction with the customer rather than bombarding them with unnecessary information. The marketing messages, thus, are more personalized and actionable.

Non-invasive:

Inbound marketing is less aggressive as compared to conventional methods, which gives customers the time to engage with the content and make informed choices.

Cons of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is time-intensive and takes longer to deliver results.

As the strategies and content are deployed via various platforms, inbound marketing risks integration issues in terms of purchase and implementation.

Inbound marketing necessitates expertise in specific domains, such as SEO and content creation, which can be difficult to scale for companies.

How Can Inbound Marketing Drive Business Growth?

Furthermore, it cuts company costs by prioritizing quality over quantity, which ultimately drives growth with a higher ROI. Last but not the least, businesses grow by connecting with people; this, perhaps, is inbound marketing’s greatest USP. As a long-term marketing solution, its strategies are grounded in establishing a brand rather than a product, fostering customer trust rather than pushing them to make a purchase. In this regard, this form of marketing boosts fiscal gains by simply engaging meaningfully with customers and ensuring growth in the longer run. 

Conclusion

While the world races towards immediate gratification, inbound marketing comes to us with the promise of long-term rewards. Think of it as a marathon instead of a sprint and apply the analogy to business. That’s inbound marketing in a nutshell, where more and more businesses now look to humanize their brands. So if you’re interested in a lucrative marketing career, head over to Emeritus and check out the available courses. Good luck!

By Deyasini Chatterjee

Write to us at [email protected] 

Which Timeclock App Is Best For Your Business?

With so many timeclock solutions and features available today, you may have a difficult time determining which one to use. Whether you need to manage schedules, track remote employees through real-time data, or any other time-tracking features for your small business, here’s what to keep in mind when you start your search.

Bottom Line

You may want to know what the best employee timeclock app is, but there’s no one answer. Consider your company’s specific needs before selecting one.

What to consider when choosing a timeclock app

As with any business-related search, figure out your business’s needs before you start. If you only have a dozen employees at a single location, there’s no reason to splurge on a timeclock app designed for multinational enterprises. A little introspection saves time and money, and ensures that whatever option you choose will be the best fit. Think about the following questions:

How closely do you want to track your employees?

In the past, clocking in for work meant grabbing your timecard and punching in at a station. While that system worked for a long time, one major flaw existed: Unscrupulous employees used a tactic dubbed “buddy punching,” which entailed having their friends punch them in at the employee timeclock station when they weren’t at the office.

Timecard fraud remains a real problem, but options in today’s web-based timeclock apps can curtail that costly problem.

Some services allow your managers to track employees’ locations through their smartphones’ GPS. Since nearly every app works on both Android and iOS devices, geolocation functionality can pinpoint where the employee was when they clocked in and out.

In addition, geofencing uses GPS tracking to restrict where employees can clock in or out. You can require them to be at your business’s physical location in order to do so. A biometric timeclock may ask for a fingerprint scan or use facial recognition when employees clock in or out.

That may seem like a lot of employee data for managers to collect, but in the case of employee schedules and your company’s bottom line, time is literally money.

Do you need a timeclock app that has additional employee scheduling features?

While a timeclock app is important, it’s not the be-all and end-all in terms of employee scheduling. There is a range of additional functions that can make everyone’s lives easier.

Your managers may benefit from a timeclock wizard, time-off management capabilities or the ability to draw up reports detailing the impact of your employees’ schedules on the company’s bottom line. 

FYI

With enough data in hand, you can make sure your payroll is what it should be while complying with existing overtime laws.

How well does a timeclock app integrate with other programs?

Running a modern business is a lot like spinning plates. There’s a lot to consider at any one moment, and if you don’t have your attention on multiple things at once, something can go wrong. Various business programs can mitigate that issue. These days, top accounting software and Google Calendar are just as important as a cash register, so make sure your app is compatible with programs you’ve already implemented.

With the right app, you can automatically import employee schedules into a company calendar and send it to employees’ email inboxes or text it straight to their phones. Some integrations also allow your online timeclock data to go directly to payroll, further ensuring that you’re accurately compensating employees for their time on the job.

Is there a best timeclock app for Android or iOS?

Nearly every timeclock company strives to get their apps on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Smartphones are among the most ubiquitous pieces of technology today, so these companies want to have their product on as many devices as possible.

If you come across a timeclock app that only supports one type of device or the other, you should probably skip it and find a service that covers both mobile operating systems. Unless you provide a business phone to your employees, you don’t want to hamstring your time-tracking capabilities by only supporting one over the other. If you do need to choose, however, be aware that, according to Statista, iOS has about 15% of the global smartphone market share, while Android has around 84%.

How much does a timeclock app cost?

Good timeclock apps, like most time and attendance programs, come with a price tag. How much that app (and the associated service) costs depends on multiple factors.

For example, if the software is hosted in the cloud, you may need to pay for additional online storage. Some companies charge extra based on the number of employees that will use the system or how many locations it will service. If you want to use a wall-mounted timeclock to give yourself additional protections against timecard fraud, that will likely come with an additional cost as well.

According to our research, businesses with 20 employees might see their time and attendance program costs end up anywhere from $20 to $300 per month. Some providers have a monthly minimum cost, especially if they charge on a per-employee basis. There may be additional setup and implementation fees.

Best timeclock apps

Here are some of our best picks for time and attendance software that offer mobile options.

When I Work

When I Work is a great option for restaurants and retail businesses. It offers scheduling software and tracks when your employees are on the clock, comparing the hours completed to the original schedule. It also allows staff to swap shifts. When I Work offers web and mobile capabilities. Learn more in our full review of When I Work.

Clockify

Clockify is a top option for organizations that have employees who work in the office and at home. The cloud-hosted system is accessible through the web, and mobile apps. This platform offers both free and paid plans and includes an option for client billing. Learn more in our comprehensive review of Clockify.

QuickBooks Time

Accessible through a mobile app, computer or telephone, QuickBooks Time is a top solution for businesses with a remote workforce. It offers GPS features to track remote employees, flexibility for workers to clock in and out, and other handy options such as note-keeping capabilities. Learn more in our full review of QuickBooks Time

The bottom line on timeclock apps

Regardless of where your small business is in its evolution or how many employees you currently have on staff, a good timeclock app can help make sure you’re fairly and accurately compensating employees.

When looking for such an app, remember that the question may not necessarily be “which is the best?” but rather “which is the best for my business?”

Stella Morrison contributed to the writing and research in this article.

What Is Whatsapp Business And How Does It Differ From Original Whatsapp?

WhatsApp Business has been in the news since last year, when Facebook officially announced it and well, WhatsApp Business is finally here in 2023. Yes, the WhatsApp Business app is finally live on the Play Store but what exactly does it bring and how is it different to the WhatsApp Messenger? Well, without further ado, let’s take a look at closer look at WhatsApp Business and find out how it compares to its more established counterpart:

What is WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp Business is a new feature that the Facebook-owned company has been testing for several weeks now, although, it’s availability has been restricted to a very few beta testers up until now. As the name suggests, WhatsApp Business is aimed at businesses that may want to use the wildly-popular instant messaging app to connect with their clients. Businesses that sign up to join the platform will be able to use the service to provide their customers with updates about timings, confirmations and other info.

According to latest reports, the WhatsApp will keep the consumer-centric original application separate from its upcoming business-related service that will reportedly be launched as an entirely different app called ‘WhatsApp Business’. In fact, as can be seen from the image below, the company is apparently planning to launch not one but two different services as part of its foray into the enterprise sector, by separating its offerings for small businesses and large enterprises. While details are hard to come by at this stage, the former will likely be offered free-of-charge (at least initially) while the latter is expected to be a paid-for service.

WhatsApp vs WhatsApp Business: Key Features

Before we get to the key features of WhatsApp Business, lets get this one thing out of the way: the two apps will reportedly look and feel fairly similar in terms of their user interface if the leaked images are anything to go by, but one of the key areas of difference will be the logo that will reportedly feature a white ‘B’ inside the familiar green conversation bubble instead of the telephone receiver that we’re used to in the general app.

WhatsApp Business comes with quite a features that are simply not present in the original WhatsApp, including the creation of a Business Profile, which will require users to fill in their ‘Business Description’, ‘Website’, ‘Address’ etc. One of the interesting feature that the new service is expected to bring is Chat Migration which, as its  name suggests, allows users to transfer their chats from one device to another or even one account to another. The company has accounted for various scenarios that include using the app on a single device or multiple devices at the same time. Users will also reportedly be able to use WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business on the same device simultaneously, but only with different chúng tôi interesting point here is that users will also be able to use landline numbers to create WhatsApp Business accounts; a privilege not yet available for regular WhatsApp users. Implemented correctly, the various permutations and combinations that promises to allow business owners to separate their business accounts from personal ones is certainly a welcome step, as it would help people keep their personal and professional lives separate.

A couple of other predictable business-oriented features that will reportedly be available with WhatsApp Business are Auto Responses and Analytics. With the first, users will be able to customize ‘away messages’ that will go out automatically when clients send messages outside business hours, while the latter will provide business owners with detailed info on important statistics like the number of messages sent, received, delivered and read.

How do I Sign up for WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp Business isn’t available for download on the Google Play Store right now, but you can sign up to be a tester by completing a simple survey. In case your request is accepted, you will reportedly be able to access the new app on the Play Store at this link once you’re logged in with the same Google account. You can also download the APK file from APKMirror, but to be able to actually use the service, your request still needs to be accepted by WhatsApp first.

Will Things Be Any Different for Regular Users?

As a general WhatsApp user, you’ll see the same message about your chats being fully encrypted end-to-end, but you’ll also see a pop-up that will inform you about the verification status of the business account you’re trying to start a conversation with. In addition to that, you’ll also see all the account details of the business owner including image, location, business category, e-mail IDs, website(s), etc.

When Will WhatsApp Business Launch Commercially?

WhatsApp Business is now available on the Play Store but as of now, it’s limited to a few countries, like Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK and the US. The company has announced that other countries like India, will get the app in the coming weeks. However, some companies in India are already on board with WhatsApp Business, BookMyShow was reportedly the first Indian company to have gotten its WhatsApp account certified as a ‘verified business account’, as symbolized by a green tick next to its name. Other companies, like Ola, OYO Rooms and various private airlines are also reportedly all set to join the list in the days to come.

SEE ALSO: 15 Cool WhatsApp Tricks You Should Be Using

WhatsApp Business: What Will it Offer Businesses and Customers?

This Boss Is Making Shopify Easy For Every Ecommerce Business

Any mug can grow sales – what matters is profit, says ecommerce expert Paul Waddy.

Ecommerce industry leader Paul Waddy turbocharges online retailers by keeping an unrelenting focus on profits over revenue. 

Paul Waddy didn’t do especially well at school and he wasn’t sure what to do with his life. Within his family and social circles, he was surrounded by doctors and lawyers and other high-flying professionals.

When he was 23, he started importing a men’s footwear brand from China to Sydney. Business took off and he became a wholesaler for household name retailers including David Jones and ASOS.

He was exporting around the world to about 200 stores and business was going gangbusters. But Waddy was stressed all the time.

“I stopped enjoying the wholesale aspect of it because it was so capital intensive,” he says. “I needed so much money to fund these growing orders and retailers weren’t paying me on time. I felt into a stressful negative cash cycle.”

“The money came through as soon as the orders were placed. I thought, ‘That’s interesting – I haven’t had to chase anyone for money.’”

Waddy pulled back on the wholesale aspect of his business and started playing around with various ecommerce platforms. He ran his own successful ecommerce businesses and subsequently became head of operations for online fashion juggernaut Showpo as it expanded to the United States and won numerous awards.

In 2023 he was named the second most influential person in ecommerce by Inside Retail, and this year he won an Industry Recognition Award at the Online Retail Industry Awards.

When shops shuttered as the Covid-19 lockdowns began in March 2023, Waddy’s expertise was in hot demand. He was inundated with requests from Australian retailers who urgently needed to move their operations online to avoid bankruptcy.

“Retailers who were turning over more than $150 million a year in bricks and mortar stores but basically nothing in e-commerce came to me and said, ‘We need a website really quickly.’ It was unbelievably common,” he says.

Small and nimble

However, it was difficult for large businesses to adapt quickly enough, so it was the smaller, more nimble players that were able to meet dramatically increased consumer demand.

“I had clients that had been doing $10 million a year who were suddenly making $30 million. The pandemic lockdowns turbo-charged a lot of businesses,” he says.

However, Waddy could see that in many cases, the extra revenue was a fluke of circumstance and not a result of improving business processes or customer service levels. He suspected that the gains would only be temporary. Sure enough, when online traffic died down when lockdowns eventually lifted, the sales began to slip away. At present, online retail makes up only 20% of the total in Australia – it has basically returned to pre-pandemic levels.

“Some businesses were making 100% more revenue, but they weren’t 100% better businesses. Unfortunately, a number of them will fall by the wayside over the next 12 months,” says Waddy.

“I say to all my clients that you need to be known for being as good a business as you are a great brand.”

Sink or swim

Over the years, Waddy has gained insights into what makes an online business sink or swim. One of the most common mistakes is assuming that boosting sales is the ultimate goal.   

“Any mug can grow sales. I am known for increasing the profits of businesses, not just the revenue,” he says. “I always say to the businesses that I work with, ‘The purpose of your business is to improve your lives and the lives of your family. Sales do not do that – profit does.”

“There are a lot of ecommerce businesses turning over $40, $50 or even $60 million who are not making a profit, or are making less than a 5% profit,” he says. “On the flip side, there are some businesses with smaller turnovers that are taking home a net profit of 35% by being smart.”

“Within a short space of time, it often starts to have record months,” he says.

Ninety per cent of Waddy’s clients use the Canadian platform Shopify, so he knows it inside out and back to front. However, Waddy does not work with startups: the smallest business he works with has an annual turnover of about $3 million in (the largest is around $150 million).

On Black Friday, Waddy launched his first book, Shopify for Dummies, and next year he is releasing Selling Online for Dummies. He is also developing an online business course.

“Shopify has created more millionaires than I can count in my ecosystem, because it’s so easy to use,” he says. “You could have an online store open within 24 hours. It’s so scalable and you don’t need expensive developers.”

The problem is that some people can mistakenly assume that it is so easy to succeed in ecommerce that they don’t need to bother getting their head around the “boring financials”.

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